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Xbox Fitness really does not fuck around

Friday, 11 July 2014 08:20 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Xbox Fitness! Surely that’s the perfect tool to whip a tragically unfit games writer into shape? Pass the protein powder.

xbox_fitness

Xbox Fitness

xbox_fitness_boxout

Xbox One exclusive, requires Kinect.

Free to Gold subscribers.

About 30 workouts included. A disappointingly small selection available for purchase in-app.

Check it out on the Xbox Store.

I’m quite skinny, as 5’8″ women go, and as a result of this privilege people tend to assume I’m quite fit. This was useful to me as a teenager, because if there’s anything I disliked more than PE classes I can’t recall it right now, and an earnest discussion about my ficitonal after school jogging usually got me out of tennis or whatever other godawful physical activity was happening so I could “do my Latin homework” (ie, hide behind the windbreak to eat candy and play The Legend of Zelda). It still works today; nobody ever assumes I’m a lazy slob who works nine hours a day in an office chair and then spends the remaining seven on the couch playing video games.

I have absolutely no motivation to change my lifestyle. I don’t enjoy playing sport. I don’t believe in the “runner’s high”. I’d quite like big enormous muscles but then again I’d also like not to have knobbly knees, and instead I’ve just learned to accept my body for what it is and give zero shits about what anyone else thinks. Unfortunately, my various doctors (and my optometrist, weirdly) have ganged up on me and demanded I change my habits to incorporate some sort of regular cardiovascular exercise before my blood pressure actually causes my head to pop completely off my body, causing undue distress and cleaning duties for my housemate.

How the fuck do you suddenly become interested in exercise after decades of laughing hollowly every time the idea is tabled? Exercise hurts. It’s boring. There’s no way I’m dashing around outside where people can look at me (did you miss the bit where I carefully constructed a lifestyle that involves me staying in my house all the time), and where when I get tired I still have to walk back. And the gym is so far away! I don’t want to walk a couple of kilometres in yoga pants in the freezing cold and/or boiling heat!

Surely, I thought to myself, there’s some way I can get around this with the power of video games.

It’s easy to be skeptical of get-fit-at-home programs (especially if you’re one of those bright orange people whose bodies look like a string of anal beads stuffed into a condom, and whose definition of “fitness” includes “being able to deadlift twice your body weight”) but there’s a reason aerobics programs continue to be broadcast and to sell. Having a recording shout at you in the comfort and privacy of your own home is a pleasant and easy method of fitting that 45-minutes-three-times-a-week into your schedule.

Do you guys remember Wii Fit? I never had a Wii, actually, so I missed out on the whole thing, but I had friends who took advantage of Nintendo’s gentle software to ease them into active lifestyles filled with running, yoga and being obnoxious about protein shakes. Mileage varied, but one thing was certain: here was a decent doorway to fitness.

I was already writing the series chronicling my rise to athleticism by way of video games. How inspired you would all become! How modest I would be about my rippling six pack!

With these thoughts rattling around my skull, I downloaded Xbox Fitness. I figured it would be even better thanks to the Kinect sensor, which can show you if you’re performing moves right and take an assessment of your heart rate. I liked the idea of recording my progress, raising the intensity slowly, and comparing my stats to friends – after all, if I was going to gamify this thing, then I had to win. I would become the fittest of the fit. In a few months I’d be doing marathons and talking about electrolytes and wearing appalling coloured sneakers with the best of them.

In the back of my mind I was already writing the series chronicling my rise to athleticism by way of video games. How inspired you would all become! How modest I would be about my rippling six pack! How compelling my daily journals of gradual achievement would be!

Then I actually started using the damn thing and oh my god, you guys: Xbox Fitness does not fuck around. It is not for the likes of me.

This woman is a monster. A monster.

Xbox Fitness has a number of problems, which I’ll discuss shortly, but the main one is this: there are no beginner programs. If you spend the time to go through and check every available free video, you’ll see that not a single one is low intensity and beginner friendly.

“If you spend the time to go through and check every available free video, you’ll see that not a single one is low intensity and beginner friendly.”

This seems insane to me. I know Microsoft is targeting the non-gamer with a lot of this stuff, hoping to expand the market by luring the general consumer into trying video games on their fantastic all-in-one entertainment system, but the fact remains that the majority of Xbox One consoles are owned by gamers. I hate to pander to stereotype here, but if your hobby involves spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on things that keep you firmly attached to your chair, there’s a reasonable chance you’re not exactly super fit. Surely Microsoft could see the advantage of throwing in programs designed to ease in out-of-shape stay-at-homes like me?

Every program I tried before my enthusiasm was completely crushed left me panting and physically broken within minutes, unable to continue – not at all the right way to go about sensibly improving your cardiovascular fitness. (None had proper warm ups, cool downs or stretches, either, although I hope there are some that feature these). I’m not alone in encountering this problem, either – the advice from people who have had success with the program is to just do as much as you can every day until you get there. That’s great, and some people have had excellent results, but guys, if I had the capacity to do that I probably wouldn’t be desperately turning to video games in hope of finding some way to motivate myself through a lifelong mental block.

There may be a few suitable programs available there, but good luck finding them. One of Xbox Fitness’s most frustrating aspects is its awful interface. This is a bit of an Xbox One and Metro bugbear, but it’s especially irritating with content that could so easily be filtered by “intensity” in addition to the various options available – which unfortunately tend to favour completely inappropriate automatic recommendations rather than providing useful options.

wii_fit_trainer

I miss you, Wii Fit Trainer! You never TRIED TO KILL ME.

The Kinect is nowhere near as useful as you might imagine, either. Advanced users find the sensor routinely fails to recognise their actions. When it works, it does show you which muscles groups you’re using, which is excellent if you already know what you’re doing – but for beginners there’s little to no advice on how to perform the required exercise correctly to achieve results.

The under-utilisation of the Kinect became really apparent to me when I tried one of the few yoga programs available. “Yoga,” I thought to myself. “Gentle stretching and breathing exercises. Yes. that’s a good way to start.”

First of all: do not jump straight into Yoga Inferno. This is not designed for beginners. In a nod to the fact that not everybody switching on their Xbox One is a sculpture brought to life, the program advised me to copy one of two background models as a beginner, and the other if I were more advanced.

I probably don’t need to explain that the beginner model’s poses were still too hard for me, but what really got my blood pressure up (precisely the opposite desired effect) was the way the program made no effort to teach you the poses despite having the Kinect there, bloated with potential for doing so.

“Do this,” the presenter would comment, blithely, twisting her body through about seven impossible angles. “Now do this. Oh, wait, you haven’t finished doing the last one yet? Too bad, here’s another one, and this one involves you not looking at the TV so you can’t even see what’s happening. Oh and by the way we’ve done eight more already.”

Throughout this, on the few occasions I could actually see the interface, the Xbox One gave me what it probably thought was helpful advice, but which pretty much amounted to “you’re doing it wrong” and low to no star ratings.

Xbox off.

Xbox Fitness feels like a wasted opportunity. The Wii showed that there is room for genuinely supportive and useful fitness software on video game consoles, and with the Kinect Microsoft had a chance to really knock it out of the park. Instead, it’s thrown together a poorly-curated selection of straight-to-DVD exercise programs and whacked on a bit of socialisation that only serves to make you feel ashamed of the fact that you’ve been brave enough to try and change the habits of a lifetime. It makes no real attempt to utilise the potential of the Kinect – something of a running theme with the new sensor, I’m afraid.

On the other hand

There are plenty of Xbox Fitness success stories out there if you go searching. I personally found the gamification pretty underwhelming as a motivation – but that might be because I was starting so far behind the pack, and because the buggy sensor recognition and lack of handholding resulting in really poor stars. As Adventure Time says, “sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something”. If you have the willpower, you’ll probably get a lot more out of this app.

Since I gave Xbox Fitness a go I’ve returned to working on my cardiovascular health the good old-fashioned way: running on a treadmill while watching deeply inappropriate episodes of American Horror Story to freak out gym spectators, and trying out a succession of increasingly expensive apps in the hopes of finding one that actually makes me feel like continuing. I’ve recently made a lot of progress thanks to meeting a new trainer who insisted I try a heart rate monitor and taught me that I’d been aiming too high, too fast, all my life, and thereby making the whole thing significantly more unpleasant than it needs to be. (Xbox Fitness, if you are going to creepily stare at my blood, then you might have told me I was exercising myself into the risk of cardiac event.)

I expect there will come a time, sometime within the next few months if I’m dedicated, when I reach the level of fitness and proficiency required to make Xbox Fitness a useful addition to my exercise routine – maybe I’ll be able to cancel my gym subscription and stay home, working out whenever it suits me and taking advantage of the cool progress-tracking features of the app. Until then, I’ve shoved my Xbox One back behind the PS4 again, where it can’t reproach me for sitting on the couch.

Disclaimer: some aspects of this article are exaggerated for the sake of humour; Brenna regularly weight trains and practices a martial art. She genuinely hates cardiovascular exercise and is under medical orders to do it, though.

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23 Comments

  1. dontbescaredhomie92

    Although I thought this was a well written article and did enjoy the light hearted humour it’s hard for me to understand why somebody couldn’t jump on Google for a few minutes to get the answers themselves?
    Post launch I’m sure they have other priorities than fixing a gimmicky add on for the casual crowd, to add to your gripes about the sensor you may want to recalibrate it as mine works flawlessly on the rare occasions I can be arsed playing Kinect sports.

    #1 10 months ago
  2. Ekona

    Insanity FTW.

    Actually FTL, since I nearly die every time I go back to it. I’ve got it on both DVD and Xbone, and I prefer the Xbone as it feels a little more interactive and gives that extra little persuasion to carry on even though you’re nearly dying.

    I’m no fitness guru though, I only work out so I can eat more food :)

    #2 10 months ago
  3. Matt Martin

    I’ve done two Xbox Fitness sessions this week and I sweated like a pig. My muscles are killing and I’m walking like John Wayne.

    Good fun though.

    #3 10 months ago
  4. polygem

    Witness The Fitness!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDWgtB_MD24

    #4 10 months ago
  5. majormayhem70

    I enjoyed this article Brenna. Great job.

    #5 10 months ago
  6. schnide

    Xbox Fitness really does not fuck around

    That Pulitzer is only minutes away.

    #6 10 months ago
  7. bradk825

    You may want to point the Kinect a little differently prior to any floor exorcizes etc. I haven’t had any problems having it pick me up at all.

    #7 10 months ago
  8. ysleiro

    P90X does not come with “easy” mode either.

    You have to make easy for yourself. You don’t have to LITERALLY do every exercise that is being asked of you.

    Work your way up.

    #8 10 months ago
  9. Keiggo

    That headline is a bit strong, isn’t it?!

    #9 10 months ago
  10. salarta

    I don’t know why I read this article, but it was an interesting read nonetheless. People in the picture at top look kinda derpy.

    #10 10 months ago
  11. Ghibli

    @brenna totally agree. I actually used to be a fairly accomplished “sportyperson” up til life got in the way in my mid 30s but xbox fitness made me want to top myself. Couldn’t stand the presenters of any of the routine I tried and tbh, the kinect was way too inaccurate to be anything else than frustrating. And I couldn’t find anything suitable for my level of idleness.

    That said, Wii Fit is definitely a great start, so do that for definite. The best fitness title by far though, is. Sports Active 2, which is just phenomenally good at measuring your effort and has a superb range of exercises from beginner to hardcore. You can easily substitute the included band with small weights too. You can pick it up ridiculously cheaply now. Recommend the ps3 version as it requires no camera to work. Can’t remember if the 360 version was kinect only.

    #11 10 months ago
  12. AlchemyFire

    @Keiggo I have to agree with you… a bit disappointed at the level of it tbh

    #12 10 months ago
  13. ignoreLander

    But let’s not ignore the elephant in the room: does it have playable women in it?

    #13 10 months ago
  14. polygem

    I don’t get this kind of games btw. I go out in the park or the woods for a run or hit the pool or a lake for a swim regulary. I’d hate to work out in front of a telly telling me what to do. To me sports also need this mental, almost meditation like status. It’s not about taking times and pulse rates and competing with myself. It never has been about that for me.

    #14 10 months ago
  15. Legendaryboss

    @9/12
    I’ll say its purpose has just been fulfilled.

    @13
    I chuckled at this good sir, even if it is rampant across most of Brenna’s articles.

    #15 10 months ago
  16. Untold stories

    I’ve used the app a couple of times and my god your right. But I’m very happy that it’s free considering how expensive those programs are

    #16 10 months ago
  17. chuckyj360

    I have played through the free gold content, and this is the only good use of Kinect 2.0 I could find. This fitness game is on point and very accurate at least for me. The latency Kinect 2.0 is no problem for me at all in this game.

    This is the ONLY game that makes Kinect 2.0 fun at this point in time anyway.

    #17 10 months ago
  18. Seventizz

    @bradk825 I was thinking the same thing. I’ve never had issues with XBOX Fitness. If it’s reading me wrong – I usually am doing it wrong or out of synch.

    But I love the tool. Wii Fit felt like busy work and it’s low impact can’t possibly prove results. If you want results, you actually have to work for them.

    Many people like to trash the Kinect – but those same people have never tried it or their limited experience with it is in a Best Buy. It’s so much more than just a camera.

    #18 10 months ago
  19. Seventizz

    @chuckyj360 Saying ‘Xbox On’, or ‘Xbox Snap’ or ‘Xbox Record That’ aren’t cool features? I was playing Mario Kart 8 the other day and I actually placed 1st in an online mode. How cool would that be if I could’ve recorded it? Now, no one believes me. :(

    #19 10 months ago
  20. laxan96

    There are few articles that are really long that I read, but when I do they´re almost always by you Brenna. There good article, you always get me hooked in the beginning most long articles I lose interest in the beginning then close the tab.

    #20 10 months ago
  21. laxan96

    @Ekona +1

    #21 10 months ago
  22. chuckyj360

    @Seventizz I’m just not too big into those features. I totally understand some x1 users are though. But, for me the social aspect of being able to perform clips, screen shots and share them… Just isn’t my style of play.

    But, for some yes, that could be a cool feature.

    #22 10 months ago
  23. Digital Bamboo

    Seems silly that there are no true beginner workouts included, and almost downright irresponsible that there aren’t any proper warm-ups or cool downs.

    I’m concerned of the number of people that will try this, find it too hard, become discouraged, and give up on fitness as a result.

    If you can get past the title (and the stereotypes): bodybuilding.com has an extremely robust forum section and very supportive community willing to help with every aspect of fitness and well-being. There are all shapes, sizes, ages and ability levels. Gamers too.

    If anyone here has a negative outlook on fitness, or is unsure where to start, I’d encourage you to join there (the bodybuilding forums, that is, you would do well to ignore the main site!) As a former personal trainer myself, I’d be happy to help anyone (for free) in any way I can, or, at the very least, point them in the right direction. My username is: CKBB

    Hope to see you there :)

    #23 10 months ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]

  • Jason Voorhees doesn’t look out of place in new Mortal Kombat X trailer

    Jason Voorhees comes to Mortal Kombat X starting tomorrow and it’s time to celebrate his arrival. Jason Voorhees, the first DLC character for Mortal Kombat X has been given the trailer treatment. Jason is part of the game’s Kombat Pack, owners of which can start using him tomorrow, May 5. Being an iconic horror character, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Dragonslayer DLC announced, free to all this week

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is getting a multiplayer expansion this week. BioWare has announced that all owners of Dragon Age: Inquisition will receive a new multiplayer expansion, for free. The expansion is called Dragonslayer and it’s centred around fighting dragons, hence the name. Three new playable characters will join the roster as you explore an all-new […]

  • Sonder is still happening, and this is the best news of the week

    Sonder is a really interesting-looking new indie adventure, which I am quite excited to remember exists. We first heard about Sonder in late 2013, when its debut trailer introduced us to a Kamai Media’s ambitious vision. In the intervening months Kamai has been hard at work on its space station management sim slash non-linear narrative […]

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

    The dream has died: Twitter has disabled Internet Archive game embeds. Remember how for a few days you could tweet a link to an a game on the Internet Archive and it was playable direct from that tweet? Well, Twitter has cancelled that. All those tweets now just show links. GamesIndustry suspects it has something […]

  • Lords of the Fallen, Divinity: Original Sin developers will reveal new games at E3 2015

    Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 and Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios have new projects in the works which will be revealed at E3 2015. Publisher Focus Home Interactive is behind both new games. In a French press release [PDF] spotted by RPG Codex, Focus said it will show off the two unrevealed titles […]

  • Rare game announce expected at E3 2015

    Rare’s new game will be shown off at E3 2015, apparently. Rare hasn’t announced a reveal, and neither has Microsoft, but it looks like the news has slipped out anyway. IGN cites a tweet from Rare creative director Simon Woodroffe in which he says that a new project from Rare designer Gregg Mayles will be […]

  • Batgirl expansion included in $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass

    Here’s what you get in the $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass. Batman: Arkham Knight’s season pass was announced last week, but apart from the news that it would cost a whopping $40/£33, we didn’t get many details of what it would include. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has since acknowledged the clamour this caused, as players […]

  • Star Wars Day Xbox sale discounts Force Unleashed, Lego games

    Star Wars Day is upon us, and here’s an Xbox sale to mark it. Microsoft is offering discounts on Xbox 360 games to celebrate May 4. From my desk here in Australia the sale is a bit light on content – two Lego games, plus The Force Unleashed and its DLC packs. Your mileage may […]

  • Here’s hoping this tease means we see Mass Effect at E3 2015

    Mass Effect boss Mike Gamble has shared a teaser image, which we’re more than happy to draw speculative conclusions from. The new Mass Effect game in the works at BioWare Edmonton is a mysterious beast. Judging by how long it’s been in development, it feels like we’re about due for a proper reveal, to clear […]

  • Watch almost a whole hour of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is almost here. Are you ready for old-school shooter action? Wolfenstein: The Old Blood publisher Bethesda livestreamed almost an hour of the Machine Games shooter recently, and has now uploaded the archive to YouTube. Check it out below: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood launches digitally on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on […]

  • Splatoon lacks voice chat to promote a positive online experience

    Nintendo’s multiplayer game Splatoon will not contain a voice chat option in order to “focus on the positive aspects” of online gaming. Speaking in the latest issue of Edge magazine (thanks, GamesRadar), Splatoon co-director Yusuke Amano said personal experience with negativity in online voice chat was one of the main reasons for excluding the feature. […]

  • D4 on PC: differences from Xbox One version, system specs announced

    D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die – Season 1 is coming to PC, and Access Games has provided a list of features different from the Xbox One version. We’ve pulled most of the changes off the game’s website and posted them below, along with the PC specs. D4 on PC Kinect gesture input controls replaced with […]

  • The Megalodon returns to Battlefield 4 with the latest CTE patch

    The Megalodon Easter Egg in Battlefield 4 may have been removed earlier this year from Naval Strike, but it has since resurfaced on the CTE with the latest patch. I’d make a Jaws reference, but it’s been done to death. The shark is shown in the video on the Paracel Storm map which was where […]

  • Survival horror game Kodoku has a new work-in-progress trailer

    Kodoku, the survival horror title from Carnivore Studio, has a new work-in-progress video available, showing you how the game is coming along. Announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita back in 2013, the game is slated for release sometime this year, and tasks the player with avoiding mythical Japanese ghosts using only magic and stealth. Thanks, […]

  • Current HoloLens prototype has noticeably “tighter” FoV compared to January build

    Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens is still very much in the prototype stage, according to various reports out of the Build Conference. Microsoft hasn’t discussed technical specs with the press yet as nothing is set in stone, but during a hands-on at Build, Ars Technica noticed the prototypes had a “x86 processor, 2GB RAM, 802.11ac […]

  • Silent Hills petition asking Konami to continue development has over 50,000 signatures

    A petition to save the Silent Hills game has been formed by fans in the hopes Konami will change its mind and bring the collaboration with Guillermo del Toro back from the dead. Konami confirmed on Monday the Silent Hill remake from film director Del Toro and Metal Gear’s Hideo Kojima had been cancelled, but […]

  • Attack on Titan has a US release date, title changed in EU over copyright claim

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will be released under a different title in Europe, according to the publisher, and while a release date has been set for North America, the same cannot be said for fans across the pond. According to Atlus, a copyright claim in Europe has forced the company to publish the […]

  • Yooka-Laylee meets final Kickstarter Stretch Goal in less than 24 hours

    The Kickstarter for Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee sailed beyond its final £1 million ($1.5 million) Stretch Goal overnight, which will allow for a simultaneous release on all announced platforms. Once funded, Yooka-Laylee was slated for release on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One; however, a simultaneous release on all platforms wasn’t guaranteed unless […]

  • Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, but not by much

    Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, according to an announcement from Roll7. Not to worry though, it’s only by a week. According to the developer, the delay is due to “having undergone super-secret upgrades to crank shit up to 60fps.” The extra week will provide the additional time needed for tweaking […]

  • Assassin’s Creed, The Crew, Far Cry 4, other Ubisoft titles on sale through the Humble Store

    Ubisoft has put a number of its games on sale through the Humble Store. Franchises Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry are on discount as are single release titles. The list of games on sale are below. For pricing in your region, head over to the Humble Store. Anno 2070 Complete Edition Assassin’s Creed 3 Assassin’s […]

  • Payday 2: Repeater rifle, Peacemaker pistol introduced with The Butcher’s Western Pack

    Overkill Software released the 21st DLC pack for Payday 2 yesterday, titled The Butcher’s Western Pack. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and other digital distribution channels. “For our 21st DLC we go back in time to visit the Wild West and the arsenal it was known for,” said the developers. “With it we’re introducing […]

  • The Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter just launched and has already met its funding goal

    Playtonic Games launched the Kickstarter campaign for Yooka-Laylee at 5pm UK, and in just over 30 minutes it already hit its $270,000 funding goal. You can watch the funding counter continue to roll over through the link. Yooka-Laylee is a 3D platformer where the characters use special moves such as Yooka’s tongue grapple and Laylee’s […]

  • Batch of hi-res Persona 5 screenshots released by PlayStation Japan

    A set of screenshots have been released for Persona 5, and while you’ve seen these before in magazines and on the official website, these are high-res versions. Some will even look familiar to those who watched the first gameplay trailer back in February. The shots were posted over on the PlayStation Japan Persona 5 game […]

  • Is Alien: Isolation getting HTC Vive support?

    Placeholder images for SteamVR icons have been found and it looks like there may be support for Alien: Isolation, so if you enjoy soiling yourself, get psyched! NeoGAF members found a thread on Reddit, where a little rooting around in a Steam directory unearthed the images. The list includes both games and apps, and as […]

  • Xbox Live multiplayer is free this weekend on Xbox 360

    Xbox 360 players in all Xbox Live regions can play multiplayer online for free this weekend. If you are a Silver member, this means you are Golden from May 1-3 and can play multiple games online with your buddies. All you have to do is log-in to Xbox Live.

  • Assassin’s Creed actor Michael Fassbender confirms film production starts September

    The Assassin’s Creed movie will start production this fall, actor Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, 300, X-Men:First Class) as confirmed. Speaking with ComingSoon.net, Fassbender said filming will start in September, which is inline with Ubisoft’s announcement in February. The actor will star in the film alongside Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, both reuniting with their MacBeth director Justin […]

  • Eve Online boss states VR won’t be as big as we think next year

    I don’t think I’m the only one who wants VR to hurry up and manifest into a Sword Art Online-esque reality. Unfortunately, the chief executive officer at the studio behind Eve Online doesn’t think that will be happening any time soon. Talking to Venture Beat, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson touched on his excitement at the prospects […]

  • The Last of Us: Left Behind goes standalone in May on PS3, PS4

    Naughty Dog has announced that The Last of US DLC Left Behind will be released as a standalone experience next month. It can be purchased for both PlayStation 3 and PS4 through the PS Store and a two-hour demo of the Factions multiplayer will also be made available. “The Left Behind standalone game will have […]

  • EA’s annual E3 press conference takes place on June 15

    Electronic Arts has announced its annual E3 2015 press conference will take place the day before the show kicks off on June 15. EA, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft always hold press events the day before E3 officially starts, so this isn’t any surprise, really. The presser, dubbed “Live to Play”, will last one hour and […]

  • Steam exchange rate mix-up closes down community market

    The Steam community market was buggered up big time today after a mix-up with currency conversion had items selling from practically nothing, to millions of dollars. PC Gamer picked up on the news after a thread on Reddit appeared with screenshots depicting just how silly things were getting over there. The currency exchange rate data […]

  • Britney Spears signs five-year deal with Glu for new mobile game

    Pop star Britney Spears has signed a five-year deal with Glu mobile for a new, untitled game. The mobile game will feature her “voice, likeness, and creative influence,” and is due for release sometime next year. Glu also signed a deal with Katy Perry in February, so expect a game revolving around her to hit […]

  • Large Activision publisher sale on Steam discounts Call of Duty, Prototype, more

    Activision has put the majority of its library on sale through Steam this weekend, and if other titles weren’t included, it could be referred to as a Call of Duty sale. Below are a few standouts. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Gold Edition 25% off Call of Duty: Ghosts 67% off Call of Duty: […]

  • The Dota 2 International Compendium is out, second Stretch Goal almost complete

    The International Compendium has been released for Dota 2 with the prize pool sitting at a lovely $1,917,155 as of press time. Valve said over the weekend to expect the International Compendium to drop sometime this week. As with previous years, those who purchase the Compendium can earn rewards by completing challenges, making predictions and by […]

  • If permadeath RTS games are up your alley, check out indie project XO

    The Square Enix Collective showcases projects for a limited time to help drum up community support and potential backers, and RTS title XO from Jumpdrive Studios is worth taking a look at. The teaser trailer is fairly brief, but if you visit the page for XO over at the Square Enix Collective, it’s understandable – […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch disables mods. Here’s how to get them working again

    A new patch for the PC version of GTA 5 was released yesterday and, as it turns out, has wiped the ability to use mods with the game. The wasn’t great news for some players, but YouTuber taltigolt has already figured out how to play the PC version with mods after installing the patch. Matt […]

  • Xbox One ad stealth launches a mysterious Halo 5 competition

    A new Xbox One advert released today isn’t as straightforward as it appears. The trailer has a couple of pretty conspicuous ‘glitches’ throughout, and members of NeoGAF wasted no time in breaking it down. The first item of interest is the screen from the hunt the signal site, which displays an error message when accessed […]

  • Battlefield 4 Jungle map improved with latest update

    DICE LA has updated the Battlefield 4 Jungle map, adding more foliage and a new route. As demonstrated by Westie in the video above, the map now has the kind of foliage you’d expect in the jungle, helping to conceal infantry players. The update also tweaks positions of objective points and has added a concealed […]

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate free DLC pack for May includes Metroid and Mega Man armour

    The May DLC pack for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate boasts some big ticket items, including Metroid, Street Fighter, and Mega Man gear. This big fat chunk of free DLC, detailed on the capcom unity blog, includes Hunter equipment: Metroid’s Varia Suit Metroid’s Zero Suit Metroid’s Arm Cannon Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn USJ’s Star Rook […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for May 1, 2 – Hard Light edition

    Here he comes with his weird face, dealing goods and gear for Guardians. It’s Friday. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back in the Tower. Of Course he is. Got your Strange Coins? Here’s what’s in his bag this week: Ruin Wings [Exotic Titan gauntlets] – 13SC Don’t Touch Me [Exotic Hunter gauntlets] – 13SC […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC drops for PS4 on May 26

    Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC has now been announced for May 26 for PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. The announcement was made on Twitter via the official Dragon Age account. Mark your calendars! #DAIJawsOfHakkon pic.twitter.com/mU1WfkSrQV — Dragon Age (@dragonage) May 1, 2015 The DLC was released for PC and Xbox One back in March thanks to […]

  • New Witcher 3 screenshots highlight Geralt’s questionable fashion choices

    Even though The Witcher 3 release date is drawing closer, it still feels like a million year away. So here are some more screenshots to tide you over until then. We got to look at in-game shots yesterday, but these new screens show Geralt riding through some gorgeously vibrant mountains, in the midst of combat […]

  • Sims Gurus patch out pregnant men

    Say goodbye to The Sims 4 unique take on fatherhood, as The Sims Gurus confirm that male pregnancies are no more. The Sims 4 players have been reporting high numbers of alien abductions, leaving their male characters with sore bottoms and a bellyful of alien baby. Kotaku reports that not everyone was getting their knickers […]

  • Black Mesa countdown probably points to Half-life remake release date

    Half-life remake Black Mesa may have a release date at last. Black Mesa is a Source Engine remake of the original Half-life, which like everything related to Half-life feels like it’s taking forever to come out. The first part launched in September 2012, and it looks like we might have a release date for the […]

  • Spector puts down rumours of troubled Epic Mickey development

    Epic Mickey seemed like a surprising follow-up project from the man who made Deus Ex, but Warren Spector has put down rumours of a difficult relationship with Disney. Epic Mickey displays several qualities found in Spector’s other games and which he has always espoused in interviews – heck, this is the man whose dream it […]

  • Ubisoft makes good on Child of Light promise with free eBook

    Child of Light fans can check out a gorgeous new illustrated book set in the world of Lumeria. Earlier this month, creator Patrick Plourde confirmed that there were more Child of Light projects on the way. As we expected from the cagey wording, at least the first of these projects isn’t a game: it’s an […]

  • Half-life episode from Junction Point would have featured a magnet gun

    Half-life seems to be on near permanent hold, but at least we can glean some insight into what might once have been. Junction Point’s cancelled Half-life game came up in Warren Spector’s Reddit AMA overnight. Commenting that he isn’t sure whether he’ll get into legal trouble for discussing the project, Spector gave a few comments […]

  • Destiny: exclusive shader, emblem on offer with Nepal benefit shirt

    Destiny developer Bungie has asked Guardians to offer their aid, and they’ve already responded in troves. A new Destiny shirt added to the Bungie Store is the object of a fundraising drive to provide aid in Nepal following a devastating earthquake this week. Bungie popped the pretty stylish shirt on sale earlier today, offering an […]

  • What does the creator of Deus Ex think of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided?

    Deus Ex creator Warren Spector seems pretty positive about the direction the sci-fi series has followed under Square Enix’s hand. Deus Ex was created by Spector and his team at Ion Storm, and remained with Eidos after the developer shuttered. When Square Enix purchased the British publisher, it put new studio Eidos Montreal to work […]

  • Protest Goat secures future for Elite Dangerous destruction derbies

    One of the stranger and more beautiful stories to manifest in the gaming world this week, I think. Elite: Dangerous has given birth to an unintended, emergent style of gameplay; a destruction derby like affair where players gather in no combat areas to both race and gleefully smash into each other until a victor limps […]